Guest Article by Patrick Eytchison

The foul odors associated with draft pulp mills is caused by reduced sulfur gases (TRS), primarily hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, dimethyl sulfide, and dimethyl disulfide.  The major sources of emission of these gases are the digester, the evaporator, and the recovery boiler.  Smaller amounts come from other point sources such as the smelt tank and black liquor oxidation exhaust.  TRS gases are neurotoxins.  In high concentrations they are fatal.  Their effects on humans at various lower levels of concentration range from respiratory irritation, susceptibility to viral infections, eye irritation and permanent visual impairment, nausea, mental confusion, and depression.  Studies have linked longterm TRS exposure to  permanent neurobehavioral impairment. (2) At least two studies have suggested a link between long-term low level TRS exposure and elevated suicide rates. (3) One of the most careful series of studies of the effect of kraft pulp mill TRS emissions on the health of residents living near such mills was conducted in Finland in the 1990's.  Since TRS production is associated with draft mills whether or not chlorine bleaching is involved, these studies are relevant to Eureka exposure to Samoa mill air emissions.

The South Karella studies were conducted in southeast Finland by researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Helsinki.  Using standard epidemiological procedures, the Karella researchers distributors health surveys to randomly selected subjects in three communities where actual air testing demonstrated differing levels of ongoing pulp mill TRS exposure.  Daily variations in TRS concentrations were also recorded.  The results of these studies showed a positive correlation between elevated TRS levels and increased mean intensity of headache, depression, tiredness, and nausea.  A similar correlation was found between TRS levels and acute respiratory infections, as well as respiratory symptoms and eye symptoms.  These results were found at relatively low levels of exposure.  In the Conclusion discussion of a 1998 Karella study report the author states, "The present study strengthens the evidence that long-term exposure increases respiratory tract symptoms at far lower levels than could be expected from current knowledge of the toxicology of these compounds."(4)

The exact amount of TRS exposure produced by any pulp mill is difficult to assess accurately.  As the 1998 report quoted above remarks of the mills included in the Karella study, "-a typical exposure profile near the pulp mills was characterized by short-term peaks between periods of no or low exposure."  For this reason short of constant mobile monitoring, statements regarding TRS emissions from a particular mill are, necessarily, educated estimates.  Given this caution, however, annual pulp mill TRS emissions are almost always to be measured in tons.  What about the Samoa mill?  The last estimate for the mill I saw was 24 tons annually; that's 48,000 pounds of neurotoxin poison a year. (5)

FOOTNOTES:

(1) Jaakkola JJK, Marttila O, Vikka V, et al. "The South Karella Air Pollution Study: the effects of malodorous sulfur compounds from pulp mills on respiratory and other symptoms". AM REV RESPIR DIS 1990; 142:1344-50.

Haahtela T, Marttila O, Vikka V, et al. "The Karella Air Pollution Study: acute health effects of malodorous sulfur air pollutants released by a pulp mill. AM J PUBLIC HEALTH 1991; 82:1060-63.

Mattila O, Jaakkola JJK, Vikka V, et al. "The South Kerally Air Pollution Study: the effects of malodorous sulfur compounds from pulp mills on respiratory and other symptoms in children". ENVIRON RES 1994; 66:152-59.

Mattila O, Jaakkola JJK, Partti-Pellinne K, et al. "The South Kaarella Air Pollution Study: daily symptom intensity in relation to exposure levels of malodorous sulfur compounds from pulp mill production". ENVIRON RES 1995;71:122-27.

Partti-Pellinen K, Marttila O, Vikka V, et al. "The South Keralla Air Pollution Study: low-level exposure to malodorous sulfur compounds as a determinant of eye, respiratory and central nervous symptoms in adults". ARCH ENVIRON HEALTH 1998; 51:315-20.

(2) Kilburn KH< Warshaw RH. "Hydrogen Sulfide and Reduced-Sulfur Gases Adversely Effect neurophysiological Functions". TOXICOLOGY AND INDUSTRIAL HEALTH 1995; 11(2): 185-197.

(3) Report by Dr. R H Weisler, University of North Carolina School of Medicine to the 18th Annual U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress in Las Vegas, November 2005; also prior Weisler study presented to the 17th Annual U.S.. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress, 2004, and the National Institute of Mental Health New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit, June 2005.

(4) Jouni J K Jaakkola. "The South Karella Air Pollution Study: Changes in Respiratory Health in relation to Emission Reduction of Malodorous Sulfur Compounds from Pulp Mills". Archives of Environmental Health; July 1999.

(5) Document Dated 8/21/2006; Subject: Evergreen Pulp Title V Permit Application, Submittal of Additional Requested Information; To Simona Altman (NCAQMD), From Carol Romero (Evergreen Pulp), Attachment B. 






 


wondering
09/22/2010 19:24

I wonder?? how many tons a year of hydrogen sulfide Humboldt bay and the tide lands emitts. Do the gas storage tanks(behind the mall) emitt anything when nobody is looking is there more? What about the stench of the seafood processing plant in Eureka(is that good for one self) Or the coffee roasters. That alone can give a person a headache.What about the lime in the air at Hilfiker.Is it totally contained. (I doubt it) I don't think I have touched on half of the "polluters" There is no doubt the pulpmill stinks but it is not alone. Industrial areas are not known for their cleanliness. That is exactly why they are zoned such make sense?? When I moved to Eureka I moved up wind. That made perfect sense to me. Go to any large city, hardly anyone lives near the industrial areas.(which is mostly their choice) I don't want to appear rude,But I see your quest as very self centered (not at all for the good of the community)

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Shawn
09/22/2010 20:16

There are much more sources for these compounds than just the mill. I have in past posts listed quite a bit on TRS, so this time I will post yet unlisted sources.

A few weeks ago I have a sore throat and swollen tonsils. Reading up on stuff on tonsils I came across the following and nearly fell out of my chair laughing.

The following in in reference to tonsil stones.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonsillolith
"The main substance is mostly collagen, but they have a strong unpleasant odor because of hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan and other substances."

This next one I have known for a while, but had left out until know.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatus
"The gas released during a flatus event frequently has an unpleasant odor. For many years, this was thought to be due to skatole and indole, which are byproducts of the digestion of meat. However, gas chromatography testing in 1984 revealed that sulfur-containing compounds, such as methanethiol, hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell) and dimethyl sulfide, were also responsible for the smell."

Resisting all the bad jokes I could make, I will just leave off with saying that there is a source located in your own home that is providing a much more direct exposure.

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Patrick
09/22/2010 21:27

Communities of any size will have many sources of air pollution, some large, some small. When the source is large enough, as in the case of the Samoa pulp mill, it is regulated by appropriate government agencies. This particular blog is about pulp mills and specifically the Samoa pulp mill. TRS emissions is one aspect of this overall issue. There seems to be a tradition of 'Humboldt County humor'. I doubt if it would be much appreciated in more sophisticated communities. I also believe there is a deeply rooted tradition of denial surrounding the local pulp mill. The South Karella study is well respected in the medical and scientific world. Perhaps we should all try to communicate like adults. Criticizing people living in polluted areas for complaining is a classic example of blaming the victim. By this logic, the victims of mine explosions or the victims of the BP gulf oil spill should just shut up and stay in their place.

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Unsophisticated
09/22/2010 23:00

"Perhaps we should all try to communicate like adults."

This sounds like a wonderful idea, I suggest you attempt it. Thinly veiled insults directed at those with a difference of opinion do not prove your points, nor do they make your arguments any more valid.

In my mind this entire issue comes down to a matter of interpretation. Both sides have posted relevant data, the difference being what each side believes the information means. Unfortunaly neither side has been able to PROVE anything. West eureka makes future assumptions based on generalized information, and Freshwater asks us to believe Simpson will be different then his predecessors.

I can understand and respect a few of those in opposition, mainly because they acknowledge the difference between what they believe and what they can prove, the others...................... Well I could be wrong, but an Ivy league degree in the concerned sciences (like the agencies charged with these issues) trumps internet statistics and self edumacation. Until you can produce the unquestionable evidence to validate your arguments, evidence that considers all potential variables (Such as those posted by wondering) then everything you claim as truth is nothing more than your personal opinion/interpretation of the data and should be considered as such.

BTW the whole "I'm the victim" mentality does nothing to further your cause. If you truly want people to respect what you have to say then stop pretending your somehow more 'advanced' in understanding and thus consistently subjected to abuse from us Unsophisticated bullies.


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09/23/2010 08:58

Reminder: This pulp mill cannot meet the environmental standards set by the E.P.A. scientists. That is why there is a Cease and Desist Order with a schedule that gives them until 2014 to come into compliance. I know that concerns the water not the air, but we are concerned that there will be similar violations of air standards. This has been the case in the past. Air standards and monitoring don't protect us from TRS and other toxins.

Interesting how we are supposed to be concerned about the jobs of the mill workers, but we are playing the victim when we ask them to be concerned about our health.

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Unsophisticated
09/23/2010 11:24

What I find interesting is how you constantly reiterate arguments you have already provided sufficient evidence for. Those reading your blog are well aware of the cease and desist order as well as the data concerning previous environmental violations, you have beaten that horse so many times its corpse now resides on the edge of the river Styx. What I have seen people attempt to discuss is their interpretation of the data you have provided, how that data fits specifically to the freshwater pulp mill, and how it will fit into any potential future the mill might have. Unlike most of your generalizations these interpretations try to nail down specifics concerning the local situation and what definitive evidence their is to substantiate the arguments.

As for being concerned about the jobs of the mill workers............ Honestly enough I don't expect you to care, you are as set in your opinion of this issue as I am in mine, trying to convince you otherwise is a waste of time and effort. However those people who are yet unaware of this issue or may be undecided need to be presented with both sides of the topic, they need to be given the opportunity to make their own opinions and not lead down the path you want them to take. If at the end they choose to view things from your perspective that is fine, at least they will not be blindsided by Buzzwords, scare tactics, and the victim card; viewing only the data you wish them to see and thinking your personal opinions on these matters is somehow objective truth.

And just for the record, I am concerned about your health just as I am concerned for the overall health of the community and those people who make up our county. I though have yet to see any substantial evidence or proof regarding the claims you specifically make. Perhaps if you included all other potential and known causes of the health risks you are worried over, as well as comparative data of potential and known causes targeted specifically at the local situation, and not fall back on generalizations, averages, and future assumptions I might be more apt to believe Freshwater bears sole responsibility for everything that has gone wrong with your anatomical history.

Keep up the victimization whine I'm getting drunk off the fumes.

Reply
09/23/2010 17:01

I purposely bring the conversation back to the fact that Freshwater Tissue Co. cannot meet the standards of the Clean Water Act. This is not a generalization, average or future assumption. It is specific, local and verifiable.

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Writer
09/23/2010 18:37

Does anyone know how to reach Caryl Binder? I'm working on a story about the pulp mill and would like to speak with her.

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I wonder
09/23/2010 18:50

The topic was Pulp mill odors and health ,right. The clean water act (by your admittance)is just a tool you are using to attain your goal. I (heavy on the I) still wouldn't live in an industrial area or near,and bitch about whats happening there. I

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Unsophisticated
09/23/2010 19:36

Yes it is specific, local and verifiable. That much has been admitted to by Mill supporters on numerous occasions, and is not in debate. What is debatable is your interpretation on what probable effects it holds for the environmental future of the county.

Once again I could be mistaken but I somehow doubt you have the level of clairvoyance required to accurately predict what will happen within the next 4 years (in regards to pollution) nor can you say that your opinions on what the environmental effects of those years will cause in the grand scheme of things.

You believe mill operation will result in an even worse environmental situation then we currently have. I do not. There is nothing in your data to point specifically at the mill as the sole source of county pollution, nor is there anything beyond generalizations to prove the pollutants discharged by Freshwater Mill will have any adverse effect within a given time frame. To use this specific forum as an example look at the top post by wondering. Your forum is a direct attack at Freshwater mill as the sole source of the odors offending the community, yet there are numerous other possibilities that you either refuse to acknowledge or try to blindside your viewers away from with the dead horse.

You seem to think that your opinion on the future outcome of this issue is absolute truth and all other opinions regarding what will be are undereducated Humboldt county humor.

Until you have the specific and verifiable data that proves Freshwater's operations are and will continue to be the direct and only source of your health problems, raising cancer rates, offending odors, and all the other blame you have generously laid upon them, I will continue to believe that you are using one sided data, buzz words and scare tactics to push people into viewing those issues at hand in the way you believe to be correct. The evidence you provide that you believe proves your future assumptions is nothing more then general data complied from averages observed within the scope of the study.

If you want to believe that the clean water compliance issue will result in some sort of future eco-disater then go right ahead, you might even be correct in that belief. I on the other hand do not believe there will be a noticeable difference in environmental concerns should Freshwater reopen out of compliance, and none of the generalized studies or data interpretations you have previously posted proves the absolute truth of your contentions. It is a simple matter of opinion and mine differs from yours.

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Patrick
09/23/2010 20:22

"Unsophisticated",
Maybe you haven't noticed but the purpose of this blog - People against the Samoa Mill- is to be a forum for communication between people who are against the operation of the Samoa mill. No one has asked you to read it or participate in it. My impression is that you have a weak understanding of the scientific method where decisions are ruled by probability, not 'absolute' proof. In other words, this is a blog by people who have weighed certain probabilities and made certain decisions. Your reference to "odors" is a part of the local mill mythology of denial. But I'll get to that in a more systematic way in later posts.

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Cricket
09/23/2010 20:42

Offending odors???? It's obvious you didn't read the lead article very carefully. Although the title is "Pulp mill odors--", the content of the article is about the physiological effect of sulfur neurotoxins as measured in a particular series of scientific studies. The final footnote of the article cites a TRS estimate given by Evergreen Pulp. A demand for 'absolute proof' is a demand no one can satisfy in the real world. What we have is data found in various governmental reports and Evergreen records. We can relate this to the relevant general literature. There's also a long history of environmental violations and fines, both air and water. This is a totality rational people would take into consideration in making a judgment about the mill. I don't understand why people who don't like or can't comprehend our position continue to take part in this discussion.

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Unsophisticated
09/23/2010 20:58

Patrick maybe you haven't noticed but your blog stopped being a discussion forum the minute you decided to attack the opinions and intelligence of people who for simplistic purposes do not share your opinion. Given that this blog is published on the internet and not constrained by any form of private limitations it is reasonable to assume your intention is to have people post in response to your threads.

I am sorry if you are unable to cope with those who may not choose to view things within the same light as you, but if you truly desired a closed knit communication between those who support your position then you would have done a better job of protecting your overly fragile sensibilities against us with weak understandings.

As it currently stands my understanding of the sciences concerned in these issues is mediocre, but I somehow doubt yours are anymore advanced or all knowing. I have a difficult time believing that anyone possessing an ivy league degree in the issues this blog covers would be spending an extraordinary amount of time playing activist on a community level. And if you do not posses said degree then you are just as underedumacated as I, difference being I am humble enough to admit to it.

But as I said before I do not post in an attempt to change your perspectives. Arguing with arrogance and the inability to follow basic principals in the formulation of an argument are a useless waste of time. My posts are for the benefit of the unknowing and undecided who should be given the opportunity to formulate their own opinions, beliefs, and ideals based on the information available concerning all aspects of the issue, not just the ones you desire to them to see.

But go ahead and keep the insults coming, it seems to be the only form of counter argument you can produce, after all why would you address the questions posed by "Wondering" relevant queries that throw your ideals into doubt are all just Humboldt County Humor and the denial of your divine truths.

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Patrick
09/23/2010 21:06

I think it will take a little bit more than a few jibes by pulp mill supporters to damage my "fragile sensibilities". Threats by fanatics who murdered abortion providers and tear gas in Seattle didn't do it.

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Unsophisticated
09/23/2010 22:04

Wow! I guess all I can say is thank you for proving just how interested in discussing the issues you truly are. I shall remember to read any proceeding post with your mentality in mind. If you cannot provide a rational and realistic counter argument to those in opposition and must fall back on fallacies then your opinion means diddly and you are only hurting the West Eureka cause. I would personally recommend taking a Phil class out at CR.

Back to the odors, there is nothing in your post that encompasses all the possible causes of the odors and associated health conditions you object to. And I say once again prove the Freshwater pulp mill bears full responsibility for your contentions and I may begin to see things from your side.

If you can not prove something then you have no basis to claim it as an objective truth, probability and averages do not denote fact. And even modern science is willing to admit they know less then more, that they make mistakes and that there are exceptions to the 'rule'.

Cricket I do understand and even sympathize with your standpoint on the odors as well as the hazardous potential posed by the chemicals that compose them. But the truth as I see it is you have nothing solid on which to base your claims. As Ive said before you seem to be conveniently ignoring other potential sources of your problems opting to place fault at the easiest target. Because of the lack of solid undeniable fact I am in the position to decide which perspective I prefer to place my faith in, that perspective happens to be in support of Freshwater. It is a matter of weighing the options and for me I see more potential harm to the local community by Freshwater's closure and what it will do on economic levels.

As to why I post....Were you aware that if you Google Freshwater Pulp Mill this blog is on the top of the first page? People willing to seek information concerning these issues are directed here and subsequently view the partial one sided information you wish them to see. They are not given access to both sides of the issue from the West Eureka Supporters, instead they are led down a carefully constructed path until they come to believe everything you deem truth.

I must give Carol credit for keeping her blog public and not deleting comments in opposition to her own. She at least seems willing to let others choose their ideals and formulate personal opinions, even if some others think a proper discussion can have no dissenting voice, and must be in full unwavering support of the contentions under discussion.

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09/24/2010 00:44

Did anyone notice the moon tonight? The sky was crystal clear giving us a clear view of the full moon. Also, I have noticed that we can often see the stars. Today was sunny and the sky was a clear blue. Has anyone else noticed the difference in the air since the mill closed? We used to have brown clouds over the bay in the summertime. Who knew that we could have such clean days and nights?

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49er
09/24/2010 06:37

All of you should look at things from a different prospective. What about the majority of the people who never hear anything about what is going on with this blog. I for one think that all of the conjecture is a meaningless waste of time. When something is regulated the government sets the standards. The government then does the research. The government is then the entity that determines the limits and how they should be applied. A permit is just that, if the regulating body deems that things are within the scope of the law then the permit is granted.
The Pulp mill was operated for many years without the (conjured) effect to the people of Eureka. Now the standards have changed and the government has agreed to allow the Pulp Mill to begin operation.
Yet an appeal was filed because a few people will try anything to get their agenda to stop the operation of the mill. That mill has provided the stimulus to our economy for the last 40 plus years and now because of a very few people who are determined to bring down our economy we have to leave the area in which we were born if we want to survive.

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09/24/2010 11:00

Patrick's main point and the point of the South Karella studies is that that pulp mill smell is not innocent It is TRS which have certain scientifically verifiable health consequences from neurotoxins. This is not just true of mills in Finland, but is true of all kraft pulp mills.

Many of us have experienced disorientation and headaches from walking around the neighborhood when the mill was really stinking. Many people are afraid to talk about it in a public forum. Now I understand why.

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Patrick
09/24/2010 14:45

Unsophisticated, I was probably overly dramatic in my last post. The point I was trying to make is that I've been an activist since the 60s. As for philosophy and the scientific method, I have attended courses in both at the undergraduate and graduate level. In my Master's thesis I had to follow standard research procedure strickly, including the calculation of probablity. I have actually taught classes in the Philosophy of Science. I also admire Carol's openness. To be honest, I would probably be more controlling. But that's just me. I understand the protocols of contemporary social medis. I do have two points to make regarding discussions on this blog; what we used to call polemics. This blog is clearly titled "People AGAINST the Samoa Mill". For supporters of the mill to come on this blog is like atheists choosing to take part in a Christian blog, or pro-choicers choosing to take part in an anti-choice blog. They probably shouldn't expect a lot of warm fuzzies. Secondly, and I know this is speaking abstractly, I have not found the critiques of mill supporters on this blog to be very convincing, or very adequate in their logic. Responding in detail to material of this sort would be exhausting because it would basically entail a long process of education. To just give one instance of the complexity involved here: one reason there is no 'absolute proof' of the effect of local pulp mill emissions on health is because no epidemilogical studies (such as the South Karella studies) have ever been done here. In part, this is due to the power of certain political and economic interests -- and also because such studies are very expensive. Even the best epidemilogical studies, like all modern scientific studies, are stated in terms of probablities. My impression is that you perhaps do not understand the long, complex, dialectical path between probability and absolute proof.

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Cricket
09/24/2010 15:08

Many claims have been made on this blog that 'west Eureka' is zoned industrial. The Clark District, where most of us who are taking a position on this blog against the mill live is zoned Multi-family Residential. Don't take my word for it, look at the city zoning map.

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Patrick
09/24/2010 19:53

Wow Cricket you hit the ball out of the park. Another local pulp mill myth was trying to get started on this blog: West Eureka is zoned "industrial". As you demonstrate, actually it's zoned multi-family residential. Anyone who bothers to come here will see the facts-families, teens, children-not factories. Unfortunately it's a residential area that has been subjected to considerable hazardous air pollution--from the Samoa mill, from Fairhaven, from 101 traffic. Cricket's deflation of this particular myth in the bud, however, has stimulated me to get more focused with my own thoughts on the local pulp mill mythology of denial, a particularly deep-rooted local cultural structure. Groups, whether nations, communities, or families, have a tendency to create myths that obscure unpleasant facts that are not easy to face openly. White southerners in the US created the myth of the 'happy black' to obscure the realities of slavery and segregation. America as a nation created the myth of the 'brave pioneer' to obscure the fact of European destruction of Native American cultures. Families suffering from domestic abuse often hide behind a myth of family normality. Regardless of the contributions of the Samoa pulp industry to jobs and local business, the local pulp mill has regularly, for years, appeared in the California Toxics Release Inventory as among the top ten polluters in the State. This contradiction between economic interest and the interests of community health and the environment has lead to the creation of a local mythology of denial concerning the Samoa pulp mill. One reason this blog has been controversial is because it has taken steps towards dismanteling this mythology. In my next few posts I will attempt to do my part to continue this process of deconstruction.

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Unsophisticated
09/24/2010 23:05

Snerk, Giggle, Hahahahahaha. Way to extend those fallacies you adore clinging to. You still have yet to directly counter the relevant queries and arguments of your opposition, preferring to utilize (as my seven year old would say)an "I am smarter then you are!" mentality.

This will more then likely be my last post for awhile, there just any entertaining value anymore. And Hell you prove my points more effectivly then I ever could just by the Egocentric, Pompus front you utilize in your blogs.

But go right ahead and keep up the 'deconstruction' I would expect nothing less. You and you alone out of the Billions of people who call earth home have been ordained by some divine power to tell the rest of us what is and is not rational truth.

I will once again reiterate the point I personally feel is of the most relevance my issues. Address the arguments your opposition have brought before you. Even if you are unable to prove the absolute truth of something accounting for any potential variables and exceptions is a very necessary and important aspect of the scientific method. In respects to this thread, answer the questions posed by 'Wondering' with more than pretty words and smokescreens. If you can find the data to support the mills chemical emissions then you can find the data on other possible sources as well. And like wondering quite a few of us do consider Humboldt bay a potential source.

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09/25/2010 09:32

The argument here seems to be that it doesn't matter if the pulp mill pollutes, because we have lots of pollution. That is like saying that everything causes cancer, so I will put a little DDT on my sandwich.

The only reason Humboldt Bay might be a source of pollution is that in the past there was no control of toxins put into the bay. In the not so distant past there were no regulations of what a pulp mill could put into the ocean. The thought was that the ocean was endless and what was put into it would just be washed away. Now, we are finding that the oceans and the air can and have been harmed by the toxins we humans put out.

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wondering
09/25/2010 12:58

I have not yet read anything,in your blog, about the bay being polluted.Bays and tide lands(mud flats) give off Hydrogen Sulphide as a natural process. Alo My point was not that it didn't matter, You are only addressing one problem out. I believe the radiation still at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant is a major threat to our health. You can count on it there is still radiation there. ( oh thats down wind of you and you can't smell it) I don't mean to be extreme But like I said I see a very self centered opinion and can't help but wonder what is the real motive for all this

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Ex-mill defender
09/26/2010 09:36

Westeruka,Patrick,,,,,,,,
You are more right than you may ever really know.

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Ex
09/26/2010 13:26

Imagine the start up after two years of down time.Weeks and weeks of toxic releases,,,,,,,,,,thats a fact. We cant lie anymore brothers.I want my nice paying job back to. But the truth is ,its a dirty toxic monster. And we all know what weve been exposed to isnt right. Its a culture mind set like Patrick said. Its a great job. But we all know we were exposed to bad stuff along with this whole town. And that is a fact we all should not deny anymore.

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Ex
09/26/2010 13:57

Unsophisticated;
Nice wordsmithing,,,,,,Still its all babeling BS,,,,,,,,,. Poison is poison, EPA or not. I worked there for to many years to be BS'ed.

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Patrick
09/26/2010 18:31

OK, my meager attempt at deconstruction. Pulp mill myth #2: "It just smells bad." Originally when the pulp industry first came to Humboldt Bay, and when pollution controls were minamal, TRS odors from the mills were referred to as "the smell of money". More recently, local pulp mill critics are often answered with, "Oh, it only smells bad sometimes." The implication of this is, of course, that while mill odors may be a little unpleasant, they are not harmful. The slight-of-hand trick involved in this aspect of the mythology of denial is to shift attention from a real primary issue - the physical health impact of reduced sulfur neurotozins- to a less serious secondary issue: the psychology of unpleasant odors. A sub-set of the 'It Just Smells Bad' myth is the assertion that the local pulp mill isn't the only source of reduced sulfur compound gases in Eureka. While in a literal sense this is obviously true, it is also another piece of slight-of-hand: In this case an attempt to shift attention from the pulp mill and its problems to the supposed lack of knowledge (and intelligence) of the mill's critics. This - the supposed ignorance in general of mill critics - is an independent part of the total myth structure I'll take up in a later post. For now, I'll deal with it in the specific context of TRS emissions. The implication of the myth here is that mill critics are so dumb (or ignorant of chemistry) that they think kraft pulp mills are unique in their production of TRS gases. Obviously this isn't true, as anyone who has ever encountered a rotten egg will testify. TRS gases come from many sources. When we were attempting to do air sampling while Evergreen was operating the local mill, we consciously rejected taking samples of hydrogen sulfide that obviously came from the Bay's natural ecology. As I said there are many sources, man-made and natural of neurotoxic sulfur gases. TRS gases come from sewers. In the 19th Century, it was well known that men whose occupation it was to clean outhouses sometimes suffered blindness due to overexposure to hydrogen sulfide. Oil refineries, asphalt plants, and other industrial sources are recognized producers of TRS air pollution. Methyl mercaptan is added to natural gas as a marker to warn of leaks (in this case we have a beneficial employment of a reduced sulfur compound). The point (and the only relevant point in the context of this blog site) is that for residents of west Eureka, when the Samoa pulp mill is in operation, it is far and away the largest and most constant emission source of neurotoxin TRS gases -- resulting in long term, low level but significant, exposure of west Eureka residents to these poisons. The amount of TRS emitted by the Samoa mill when in operation is, as I have said earlier, difficult to assess with precision; but the level of measurement is in tons or thousands of pounds annually. Ex, thanks for being honest and speaking up. I know that isn't easy and often doesn't win friends.

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49er
09/26/2010 19:26

After working at the Mill for over forty years I know you people just don't know what you are talking about. Forty years and never a health issue of any kind. I find it hard to believe that you claim to be educated, yet refuse to believe all of the improvements put in place to insure compliance with the law.

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09/26/2010 20:15

49er you are very lucky. Others have not been so lucky. Can you say in all honesty that no mill workers have had cancer? What about people in Eureka, Samoa and other nearby communities? Can you guarantee that these cancers and other health problems are not from the mill? I don't think so.

By the way, once again, if this mill opens, it will not be in compliance with the law. It only has its water permit, because of the cease and desist order that allows Freshwater Pulp to violate the Clean Water Act until 2014.

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Patrick
09/27/2010 19:42

Pulp mill myth #3: The air emissions from the Samoa Mill are mostly (harmless) water vapor. This is true, but (intentionally?) misleading. It is true that, by volume,the mill's visible plume is predominately water vapor; but this is like saying that a glass of water with two drops of arsenic dissolved in it is mostly water. Water vapor emitted from a pulp mill is not generally considered a pollutant; however along with this water vapor are amounts of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) measured in total in tons on an annual basis: partticulate matter, sulfur and nitrogen oxides, reduced sulfur compounds, volatile ortganic compounds, and metals. How much these annual HAPs are for the Samoa Mill is a little hard to say because it always comes down to someone's estimate. There are different systems for making these estimates and on different occasions I have read or heard different figures. One example was at a meeting of the local Air Quality Board on 1-21-06 when the Air Pollution Control Officer said, "The mill emits (annually) 230 tons of particulates, 10 tons of sulfur dioxide, 437 tons of nitrogen oxides, plus toxic metals." I've seen other lists of HAPs and figures but, excluding water vapor, the mill's air pollution is always given in tons per year.

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wondering
09/28/2010 11:10

now that the mill is going to be scrapped I wonder are you going to address other sources or is this ferver going to drift off into obscurity, Counting this as the completion of your goal.

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